BREAKER! BREAKER! (1977) Gives Chuck, Trucks, and Zero [Concerns]

Breaker! Breaker! arrives on Blu-ray on March 22 courtesy of Olive Films.

Ostensibly a 70s Chuck Norris trucker movie, Breaker! Breaker! is most certainly from the 70s, and it definitely stars Chuck Norris. But given the title (a well-known CB broadcast phrase), it’s surprisingly a bit light on the trucker angle which mainly serves as backdrop. While the film has a lot of similarities to Convoy, its plot is actually something more along the lines of The Wicker Man: a heroic stranger enters a town to rescue an innocent — in this case his missing brother — and finds the entire town is against him.

The remote California town of Texas City operates as a criminal organization, brewing illegal moonshine, and abusing any outsiders who venture into town. At best this might mean simple cheating and fraud, but the people of Texas City are just as likely to rob, kidnap, jail, torture, and even kill according to their whims. Under the leadership of a corrupt judge (George Murdock) and his police officers, law enforcement is a joke, serving only as legal cover to protect the widespread racketeering.

When his younger brother Billy (Michael Augenstein) and his rig disappear, trucker J.D. Dawes (a young and mustache-less Chuck Norris) heads to Texas City to find answers. He’s greeted by rednecks taking potshots at his breathtakingly painted van, and things just get worse from there as he’s met with overwhelming hostility. He manages to find two sympathetic locals who help him in different ways — a widow/romantic interest who detests the town’s corruption but is stuck there, and the village idiot — a young man who is dim-witted but kind-hearted (and over-acted).

As tensions boil over, viewers are treated to Chuck beating up wave after wave of local meatheads. His trucker cred finally plays a role when a convoy of 18-wheelers discovers what’s transpiring via CB radio and descends upon the town in a maelstrom of vehicular carnage (a scene and situation which are very closely mirrored in the aforementioned Convoy).

Breaker! Breaker! is rife with bad acting, plot holes, and a thick layer of cheese, but it also has Chuck Norris, Chuck Norris’ van, car chases, bad guys flying through walls, a town getting razed by 18-wheelers, and an absurd number of roundhouse kicks. It’s definitely not a great movie, but I did have a great time with it. And, as a fan of both The Wicker Man and Convoy, I found the many, many parallels to both films to be legitimately fascinating (especially since Convoy came afterward).

The Package

Breaker! Breaker! comes to Blu-ray in a handsome but lightweight release from Olive Films. The cover features the incredible original poster art (a bigger point than it might seem — the older DVD’s artwork was a war crime against good design). The disc includes an HD Trailer but no other features or options.

Special Features and Extras

Theatrical Trailer (2:11)

A/V Out.

Get it at Amazon:
 [Blu-ray] | [DVD]

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